Hagman back on ice

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Leafs forward Nik Hagman was back on the ice for practice yesterday, but that doesn't mean he's ready to return to the lineup any time soon.

Recovering from his second concussion of the season, Hagman, who has missed 11 games, spent most of his time at Lakeshore Lions Arena working on conditioning drills with assistant coach Keith Acton.

"It's really the first time he has skated in a month and he's not taken part in any contact drills," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "He will have another test this week. If he's ready to play, he'll play."

Injured defenceman Tomas Kaberle is getting closer to a return from a broken bone in his hand, however. Kaberle was a full participant in yesterday's practice and could return as early as Friday's game in Buffalo.

"He will play on the weekend, that's what I've been told," Wilson said.

Thumbs up (and down)

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau knows he will get bombarded with questions about Alex Ovechkin's notorious goal celebration after scoring his 50th this past week against Tampa, but thinks the whole issue has been overdone.

"It's way overrated," Boudreau said after the team's practice yesterday in Washington. "Look, he did it once, people. Once when he scored his 50th goal. Let it die. There's got to be some better things to talk about in this world.

"If anything, it's done some good for the game."

Wilson, meanwhile, feels Ovechkin's enthusiasm is refreshing but that he went a little overboard in this case.

"I didn't like what he did in Tampa (after his 50th), that's for sure," Wilson said. "When it's orchestrated, I don't think that's right, but being exuberant or happy whenever your team scores ... I think we need more of that."

Sick bay

Caps regulars Alexander Semin and Matt Bradley each sat out yesterday's practice in Washington with flu-like symptoms. Both are questionable for tonight's game meaning the team may have to call up a couple players from its AHL affiliate in Hershey.

"We've got a lot of guys sick," Boudreau said. "It think it's going right through our team. It's a difficult thing, but I'd rather have it right now than in two weeks, assuming that we've got enough points to make the playoffs."

Early start

Because it is part of a TSN doubleheader, tonight's game is a 7 p.m. start, 30 minutes earlier than most midweek games at the Air Canada Centre.


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